Aborlan is between the Sulu Sea and the mountains. This is where Rene, the kids and I spent the eighth day of this year.... and now, it's already Day Number 102.
Aborlan is a very young town. It was only in 1949, after the war, when Aborlan was converted into a municipality by Executive Order No. 232. One legend has it that "Aborlan" came from the name,"Abel nan", a tree belonging to the gods who inhabited the place. "Aborland" also means that the place was once a haven for wild boars.
We drove through a shady road filled with mostly acacia trees. The sun was shining so brightly at 10:30A.M. and yet, the drive was so breezy and cool.
Acacia trees stretched for several miles, bordering the rice fields.
The landscape was straight out of a Philippine postcard.
Archie, Rene's friend, picked us up at the hotel to accompany us for an hour to view a resort that was for sale. Rene gets occasional inquiries at the hotel and knows a few people who want to invest.
We reached the former Princessa Holiday Resort. This was the guardhouse just inside the gate to the property.
We were treated to a simple lunch of steamed rice and maya-maya in two versions: fried and sinigang (tamarind broth). The fish was caught in a nearby fishing village a few hours ago and could not be any fresher After a dessert of ripe yellow bananas, we took a walk.
The resort is inside a coconut plantation, which began here.
The kids stopped to check some interesting things among the stones.
We passed one of the main huts in the property which was formerly a commercial center...
...and a magnificent tree where I felt like a child again swinging on its boughs!
We entered the restaurant and crossed the bridgeway from one dining room to another...
...past the cozy hand washing corner...
...and on to one of many outdoor shaded grills. I circled the grill and admired the functionality and simplicity of having a grill, a sink and a counter top, all in one block of cement.
Here is another shaded amenity: a rattan hammock. The owners made sure everything was cool and cozy.
There were many clusters of these baby coconut trees, almost ready to be planted...
... and a whole row of Dwarf Coconut Trees, which would never grow as tall as the others.
We passed the cottages that were still very well maintained, but empty.
We passed the swimming pool. The grounds were very clean and neat. At the end of the property was a fence with barbed wire and a small gate. My heart beat faster when I caught a glimpse of what was on the other side.
It was a perfectly peaceful place even with the waves wildly splashing against the shore.
Didn't take long for Elise to walk off by herself towards the water...
Neither did it take long for little Nacho. He picked his own spot and played with the crawling water, just after the waves crash.
Rene took a stroll too. In places like this, you just need to have your alone-time.
I loved it! I, too, was solo with the smooth stones...
...and realized that this time last year, we were not together.
Nacho kept his chosen little yellow leaf safe in Daddy's sandal. He picks up yellow leaves everywhere and keeps just one.
Elise remembered Tita Lisa's sandman last Christmas and made her own.
Rene came back with a shell collection, which he laid down carefully in the sand. Tragically, they were left behind later in the rush to leave so we could make it back to Puerto Princesa before dark. Luckily, a photo was taken.
We drove off just before the sun set.
The car was stopped to photograph this river - this pristine river...
...and fifteen minutes later, we became momentarily envious of some guy's private cove hideaway.
Five minutes later, the kids were both asleep.